Iran has serious future ambitions in our region, which stem from Armenia’s interests, but Armenia undermines them serving Moscow’s interests, economist Ashot Yeghiazaryan told Armenian News – NEWS.am.
”What does Russia have to do here? There are Armenia-Iran power transmission lines, a new one being built. The Armenia-Georgia transmission lines are also in place. It is natural that the neighboring states are linked by power transmission lines. Power is the sphere which implies linking of the power networks of neighboring countries. Why should the factor of Russia be necessarily mentioned? This is due to the fact that Armenia is actually conducting the policy of Moscow. The policy of Armenia can at best be considered as residual: whatever doesn’t suppose a ban from Russia can enable development of relations but such relations do not actually exist,” he said.
According to him, the visit of Iranian President Rouhani didn’t cause positive advancement in the Armenian-Iranian relations, Armenia’s membership to the EAEU harming the relations between the countries.
”I think there has been no turning point in the Armenian-Iranian relations. Moreover, before Armenia became an EAEU member or before lifting the sanctions against Iran, the Armenian-Iranian relations were more promising at the level of statements than now.
Currently, they are restricted to educational, cultural, humanitarian and at best tourism spheres of cooperation. There has been no significant progress in terms of regional economic projects,” he said.
In Yeghiazaryan’s words, the statements regarding the creation of another free trade zone in Syunik don’t suppose real actions and will stay at the level of talks. ”These are abstract ideas, like other abstract projects, which have appeared recently, one of which was the project of enabling Armenia to reach Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries via Iran. If the free trade zone is realistic, let it be created now, why in a year?”
The Armenia-Iran railroad also remains at the level of talks, since the concessions of the Armenian railroads belong to the Russian railroads, the economist noted, adding that in order to raise interest to the transportation corridor, the Russian side should be deprived of concession.
”They should be deprived of concession. In that case, stakeholders will emerge, who will make relevant investments. Why is a port with 100 million ton capacity currently being built in Georgia by the US investments? This is not done without reason. It is apparently designed for Iranian cargo to be sent to Europe and European cargo directed to Iran and the Near East. We are told it is within our national interests to get involved in that transportation corridor but we fail to do this,” the economist said.
He added that if Iran wants to pave a way to EU or US, it will do so via Georgia.